Health Department spurs food safety enforcement

June 25, 2024 3:48 PM GMT+7

VGP - The health sector has accelerated up monitoring and inspections with targeted and short-notice visits to food production and business establishments, food service providers, street vendors, and canteens.

Health Department spurs food safety enforcement  - Ảnh 1.

An interdisciplinary inspection team from Hanoi inspects food safety and hygiene at a Bac Tu Liem District supermarket - Photo: Hanoimoi

This has gradually raised awareness among producers, traders, and consumers while addressing violations, according to the Ha Noi Department of Health.

Ha Noi has more than 77,000 enterprises involved in food production, processing, trading, and street food vending. These include more than 10,000 food producers, nearly 25,500 food traders, over 35,000 food service providers, and about 5,800 street food vendors.

In recent times, the city has implemented a comprehensive program to ensure food safety, focusing on peak periods such as the Lunar New Year and Food Safety Month.

According to the Ha Noi Food Safety and Hygiene Department, ensuring food safety has involved close cooperation between the various agencies and institutions responsible for food safety management.

The city has worked with neighboring provinces to control the sources of food ingredients supplied to Ha Noi and to enable food traceability.

During Food Safety Action Month 2024, Ha Noi sent 701 inspection teams to more than 12,500 establishments, of which over 10,500 (84.1 percent) met the requirements, while 1,814 were found in violation.

According to the Ha Noi Department of Health, the city's relevant authorities have fined 1,679 offending establishments more than VND8.8 billion (US$345,986).

Throughout Food Safety Action Month, the city has emphasized the roles of local governments, management agencies, social organizations, and consumers, raising awareness among producers and traders on food safety compliance and promptly addressing any food safety incidents.

To prevent food poisoning, Ha Noi has set up a model to control food safety in all kitchens of 214 primary schools in five districts and five wards in Ha Noi. 

As a result, food safety management in canteen kitchens across the city has been under close scrutiny, according to the Ha Noi Food Safety and Hygiene Department.

The city's health department has worked effectively with local authorities to enforce food safety criteria in 196 districts and towns and to maintain 20 food safety streets.

The health sector has also expanded the food safety model at large gatherings to proactively prevent food poisoning, covering 440 communes, wards and towns in 20 districts and towns.

The department noted that after more than six years of implementing the food safety model, Ha Noi has established and maintained 60 civilized food safety streets in 30 districts and cities, involving thousands of participating businesses.

Previously, in January, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha said that food safety management must be ensured at all levels, along with promoting the roles and responsibilities of grassroots governments and knowledgeable consumers.

He underlined the importance of innovating diverse and regular communication methods and forms, thereby changing the awareness of all levels and sectors, especially grassroots and people, about food safety and having peak periods and serious responses to food safety violations.

The Central Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee on Food Safety is organised from the central level down to the district level. Still, in communes and wards, there are only part-time staff. Food safety inspection activities must be undertaken in such a way as to avoid disturbing businesses, establishments and people.

The health sector inspected more than 382,000 establishments and found 34,500 violating establishments, of which more than 12,000 establishments were fined about VN44.4 billion (US$1.9 million)./.

Kim Anh